Teacher Interview Questions: My Top 9

Interview questions for teaching position
Interview committee for teaching positions

Yes, only 9, because I couldn’t decide on a #10! However, all 9 of these questions can be used for a teaching  interview for any grade level.

Congratulations!  You have a teacher interview.

First, try to calm your excitement and sound interested and friendly when you get “the call”. I can’t tell you how many times my secretary would share with me both the good and bad conversations she had with candidates when scheduling interviews.  Guess what?  Very often her impressions were absolutely right!  The school secretary  is one of your greatest supporters.

Teacher Interview Question Flow

Usually the first question is for you to tell them about yourself. Do not improvise your response. You’re getting an opportunity to give a great first impression. Use it wisely by preparing an answer that will help distinguish you from other candidates. Do not review your resume, they already have it.  Be sincere and genuine. When interviewing, remember that people will prefer to work with people they like.  Think of the process this way.  If you had a choice between 2 candidates with totally equal qualifications, would you take the candidate that was eager and happy or the candidate that was not?

 Tell us about your classroom experience or working with children. Once again, they are looking for you to articulate what kind of teacher you have been by your explanation of situations.  Highlight the type of teacher you are and some specific examples.

How do you get parents involved in their child’s education? Depending on the grade level, you want to prepare an answer that tells them how you will get parents involved in their child’ education. Use past experiences that have been successful (classroom volunteering, newsletters, emails etc.)

 How do you assess student learning? In this question, be specific about the different assessments, both formal and informal, that you have used. This is a great time to share any technology assessments

 My favorite question is asking the candidate to use 9 different words of how each of 3 groups would describe them (supervisor, colleagues, kids). The descriptor words help us see your use of vocabulary and your ability to think quickly.  It’s the 3 descriptor words from kids is how we know if you are kid-centered.  A first grader will not describe their teacher as conscientious nor will a high school student use “groovy”. One first grade candidate used  “squishy”.  Her explanation was it was how first graders thought her hugs felt. Did we hire her?  You bet!  As a K-2 principal I wanted teachers who were genuinely excited and enthusiastic to be with students.  Thank you, Wendy!

 What was the last book you read. Teachers talk about the importance of reading.  Be sure to have the name and author of a book that you read recently. This shows that you are intellectually curious.

 Why do you want to work in the school/district? Do your homework and know about the district.  Yes, you want a job, but WHY do you want to work in that school/district. Include in your response the positives of the district and how your experiences can be beneficial to the district.

 Is there any question that we didn’t ask that you wish we had? Acknowledge that they asked some good questions, and then share your question.  They will then ask you that question!  This is the opportunity for you to share a  teaching strength or highlight that you hadn’t shared. answers.

 What questions do you have for us? Salary, benefits, student behaviors, school budgets and school test scores should NEVER be asked during interviews. Many of those items can be researched and salary will be discussed at the time of an offer. Possible questions to consider would be asking about professional development opportunities or ways to get involved in the community.

Teacher Interview: Final Thoughts

Practice, Practice, Practice your responses in front of a mirror.  The better your preparation, the more confident you will appear during the interview.  Everyone is nervous during an interview.  A good interview committee will try to make you as comfortable as possible to uncover your answers.  Remember the Big 3 of teacher interviewing: be specific, concise and enthusiastic. Good Luck!

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